Monday, July 22, 2013

My long - and self-indulgent - 10K race report...

This is my 10K race report for yesterday.  It will probably be long, and definitely self-indulgent, so read on if you are prepared.

In 2012, this race - Tibbetts Point - was the first 10K race I did. My time was 52:08 and I placed 3rd in my age group.  I was pretty confident that I would better that performance this year.

Marc is not in love with running, and decided not to run this race.  Instead he decided to leave early, ride his bike the 25 or so miles there and join me at the end of the race.  So as I got ready, I was alone and was both excited and questioning what I was doing.  This seems to be a race day pattern for me.

Originally when I signed up for the race, I was hoping to come in under 49 minutes.  However, this week had been blisteringly hot, and my runs this week were consequently really slow, so I was pessimistic that this was going to happen.  Like a gift, this day dawned sunny but very cool for July - high 60's and very little humidity.

I arrived at the race site, got signed in and wandered aimlessly doing only a short .25 mile warm up run.  Surprisingly, I saw not one person that I knew.  Finally we lined up and with little fanfare we were off.  I started out fast, and initially thought I should slow down, but then I remembered that this was a short race and told myself that I should push myself.

The race course spent about a mile moving through the village of Cape Vincent and then it followed a road that runs right along the St. Lawrence River.  At 1.5 miles we hit the turnaround for the 5k'ers - as usual, most ran around the pylons and headed back, where a smaller group of us moved to the left and continued running along the beautiful St. Lawrence.

About 2 miles in a woman tried to strike up a conversation with me about my Vibrams as I passed her.  I kept the headphones on, muttered a few words and kept it moving. I find it weird when strangers want to chat during races!

At 2.80 miles the runners that had already ran around the lighthouse turnaround started coming back.  I kept my eyes peeled and saw only men.  But everyone was moving right along, and I wasn't sure when a clustered group passed me if there was a woman in the bunch.  Then I climbed the hill that the lighthouse stands on and was on my way back.

The view heading up to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.  It is the entrance point where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario.  The turn-around point for the 10K.

As I headed back, I passed a lot of grouped up people. I got a lot of waves, thumbs up, and positive and encouraging comments.  That made me wonder if I was indeed the first female!

For the next 2 miles, I saw virtually no one except spectators.  At mile 4 I realized that I was going much faster then my usual pace and felt out of breath and was starting to lag.  The difficulty I was having was compounded by a strong headwind coming off the water.  I did not want to slow down and was afraid that I would look back and see a pack gaining on me.  I then slowed and grabbed a wedge of fresh orange out of a bowl that had been put out for the runners and threw a glance over my shoulder.  There was not another soul in site.  Happily I bit in, squirting the orange juice down my throat and started to choke.  Nice job, idiot!!!  Wouldn't that have been ironic if I had to stop because I was choking!

At mile 5 there were more spectators clapping and cheering.  BY FAR, the people watching and cheering have become my favorite part of racing.  Although I was panting, I was on the home stretch, and back in the village where the wind wasn't an issue - so I was feeling fine.  Soon I spotted the end point.  I ripped my headphones off and ran up the short hill leading to the finish to a large cheering crowd and raised my arms as I took the the left turn and dashed towards the finish line.

Making the turn toward the finish line.

I saw the blazing red timer clock counting up the minutes and my eyes widened as I saw 47 as the first 2 numbers - holy shit, really??!!  I put out a short burst of speed and crossed the finish line.  I looked and saw Marc was there taking pictures.

Crossing the finish line.

I grabbed a water and headed over to Marc who congratulated me.  He told me he didn't know where I had placed since there were still 5k'ers coming in and he didn't know who had run which race.  I headed away from the crowd to stretch while Marc went back to the Edge to get some more camera stuff.

As I stretched, I saw a woman point at me and say to her friend that I was the top 10k woman.  Ohhhhh wow maybe I really did it!!

We headed up to where the awards ceremony would be held and stretched out in the sun in the warm grass as more people came in.  After what felt like forever, they announced that the 10K race results had been posted.  I dashed over and quickly scanned the sheet.

  • I finished 12th
  • There were 72 people that ran the 10K
  • Official time: 47:33

For my accomplishment, I was awarded a mug and a ribbon.  Here I am with Dan Pierson - the top placing male.

I'm not sure why this race was so special to me.  Maybe it's because I knew that I was killing it during the run.  I felt STRONG and totally in control.  Maybe it's also because this was the anniversary of the first 10K I ran.  Or who knows?

There is nothing - NOTHING - in my history that suggests I would be capable of not only RUNNING a 10K, but coming in first!!

I would encourage everyone out there to think about that.  You might be saying to yourself that there are things out there that you would never be able to do.  But once you try - once you give yourself a chance - you might be SHOCKED at what you are capable of!  I still am!


  1. Daggum, that's some fine racing! Congratulations! And I'm officially jealous. We (in NC) haven't seen temps in the 60s for quite a long time.

    1. Usually for me, the HOTTER the better, but this was really ideal racing conditions with the exception of the wind!


  2. Congrats! I ran a 10K the same weekend and won outright for the first time ever. It was a small field (51 entrants) and the usual runners who kick my ass weren't there, so my time of 45:27 was good for first place.

    It was a no frills race, though, so no ribbon for me.

    1. Amazing time!!! Is that typical for you? Congrats on you win and they should have at least given you a ribbon!!!


    2. I mostly run 5Ks, where my PR is (currently) 20:40 -- hoping to get 19:59 by the end of the year. My 10Ks have been 45-46 minutes, so this one was right in the middle.

  3. Love the pics and as usual you amaze me GREAT RACE!!! And report loved it! Felt like I was there.